Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour

The true magic of Kyoto comes alive at the end of the day when past and present blend into the night! Take to the streets as dusk falls and see how argon lights mix with paper lanterns, age-old shrines squeeze into busy shopping streets, and aged wood is decorated with modern street art.  Experience the best travel stories for yourself.


  • See Kyoto transition from a daytime haven of shrines and temples to a magical nighttime town

  • Wander the back streets of Gion and see if you can spot a few Geiko walking through the old quarter

  • Visit local spots rarely discovered by tourists such as the Yasui Konpira-gu Shrine

  • Jump through history, from the wooden walls and lanterns of Yasaka

  • Shrine to the bustle of Karasuma’s tachinomi
    Sample tasty snacks as you soak up the lively local atmosphere

Local english-speaking guide
Food samples (traditional japanese snacks and drink)
Additional food and drink
Transportation to and from the meeting point
Tips/gratuities for your guide
Important Information
What is included in the tour?

Local English-speaking guide, food samples (traditional Japanese snacks and drink)

What isn't included in the tour?

Additional food and drink, transportation to and from the meeting point, tips/gratuities for your guide

Where do we meet?

Entrance to Gion Corner, by Hanamikoji Dori, Gionmachi Minamigawa area, Higashiyama ward, Kyoto

Where does the tour end?

Shijo - Karasuma station

What is the duration of the tour?

3.5 hours

What is the group size for this tour?

For shared tours, the maximum group number will be 12 passengers. For private tours, there must be a minimum of 2 passengers. A solo traveller may still book a private experience, but they will be charged a base rate for two travellers.

Are there any Covid-19 vaccination requirements?

While we strongly recommend that all travellers are vaccinated against COVID-19 to reduce the risk of transmission and avoid putting undue strain on healthcare services, vaccinations are not a requirement to join an Intrepid Urban Adventures tour. For further information, please review COVID-19 Health & Safety at

What if I can't find my guide?

If you have any issues on the day of your tour, please call +81 5055325110

Can I cancel my tour?

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity.


Experiencing Kyoto by night is an essential part of any visit to Japan’s city of tradition. Walking through the old town’s lantern-lit wooden streets is an otherworldly experience not to be missed! We’ll begin our Kyoto tour at Gion Corner in Kyoto’s famed Geisha district of Gion. As we wander, there’s a good chance you’ll see both Geiko and Maiko breezing through the narrow alleyways of the old quarter. From there, we’ll avoid the crowds and traverse the serene backstreets of Higashiyama via the unique but rarely visited Yasui Konpira Gu Shrine, the marvellous Yasaka Pagoda and the bustling and colourful Yasaka Shrine. We’ll then avoid the crowds a second time as we dart into the backstreets of northern Gion, walking through the narrow streets lined with smaller and more modern clubs and bars — a fascinating contrast to the quarter’s old buildings and historical air. Crossing the Kamo River, we’ll take in the sprawling view of Kyoto’s restaurant district as it stretches into the distance along the river, before crossing into Pontocho. A centuries-old entertainment district now lined with bars and restaurants, Pontocho is lit almost entirely by traditional Japanese lanterns of every shape and size. Each restaurant has its own unique menu and atmosphere, but all retain an old-world charm. From Pontocho, we’ll cross to Teramachi, a traditional Japanese-style arcade strip that stretches off into the distance. Roofed with glowing, cathedral-like arches, Teramachi is home to a countless variety of merchants and restaurants, including traditional Japanese bookstores and the ubiquitous, brightly lit Manga comic shops. Here, you can find everything from statues of ancient gods at a Butsudan-ya (Buddhist altar shop) to high-quality sushi knives and vintage clothing. Leaving Teramachi’s arcade, we’ll head past the Nishiki food market to check out a tachinomiya — translated in English, ‘tachinomiya’ literally means ‘stand and drink shop.’ Bars with no seats offer locals a chance to enjoy drinks and light snacks en route to home or engagements elsewhere. For additional directions to meeting point: Gion Corner is four blocks south from the intersection of Shijo and Hanamikoji streets. Hanamikoji is two blocks east of Shijo-Ohashi Bridge. - By city bus to "Shijo Kawaramachi"- By Hankyu Railway: Kawaramachi Station exit 1 (10-minute walk) - By Keihan Railway: Gion -shijō Station exit 6, (5-minute walk)- From JR Kyoto Station: by city bus in approximately 25 minutes, or approximately 15 minutes by taxi Download a map here:

Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns Tour
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